Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, South Africa – The day after South African teacher Pierre Korkie was killed in a botched rescue mission in Yemen, his family said they choose to forgive and rejoice in his memories.
Korkie’s wife, Yolande, said that after hearing the news she asked herself many questions and realized she had a choice to make.
“So today we choose to forgive. We choose to love. We choose to rejoice in the memories of Pierre and keep him alive in our hearts. We honour Pierre’s legacy and give Glory to God for his life and death,” she said in a statement.
“Even though this pain is overwhelming us right now, we choose to believe that this too will pass.” The statement was sent on behalf of Yolande and the Korkie’s two children.
Pierre Korkie and American photographer Luke Somers were killed in the early hours of Saturday, Dec. 6, during a rescue operation carried out by United States Special Forces in Yemen.
Both Pierre and Yolande were kidnapped in Taiz, Yemen, in May of last year. At the time of the kidnapping, Yolande was a teacher in Yemen and she did relief work in hospitals. She was released and returned to South Africa after 228 days in captivity. Pierre had been a hostage for 558 days.
“The furnace of 19 months has been relentless and red hot,” Yolande said. “Thus I had to really think very hard and long for an appropriate approach in the face of this pain.” The approach she chose was forgiveness.
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